Mexican parents from Christian organizations have taken to the streets in significant numbers, expressing concern over new textbooks issued by the Ministry of Public Education. According to Mexico News Daily, these parents believe the books contain content related to sexual and gender ideology. The protests saw a turnout of at least 12,000 participants.
Aguascalientes is one of the 32 federal entities that make up Mexico.
Parents took the drastic step of burning these textbooks in the southern state of Chiapas, which borders Guatemala. The local community, with a strong presence of Evangelical Christians, was particularly vocal about their reservations. As reported, parents from an elementary school in Chiapas gathered the new textbooks, soaked them in fuel, and set them on fire.
The introduction of these textbooks has spurred activism among parents. An impressive 112,000 signatures were gathered on a petition calling for halting the distribution of these books due to the alleged content inserted without consulting parents.
Mexican President López Obrador addressed the concerns, suggesting that parents were being “misinformed and manipulated” by certain political narratives, making them suspect that the textbooks carried a “communist influence.” He defended citizens’ rights to protest and acknowledged potential areas of improvement in the textbooks. However, he emphasized that the uproar might be politically motivated. In rebuttal to claims about including gender ideology in the books, the president assured that seasoned educators and experts had developed them.
The new secondary school textbooks in Mexico have adopted gender-neutral terms such as “todxs” instead of the traditionally masculine “todos” when referring to mixed-gender groups. This adaptation goes against the recommendations of the Real Academia Española, the chief authority on the Spanish language, and has sparked a heated political debate.
This controversy is reminiscent of the stance taken by Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis, who has attempted to prevent discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity in schools. In Mexico, the conservative group Unión Nacional de Padres de Familia secured a legal victory that might prohibit the use of these textbooks. Additionally, various states governed by the opposition have expressed their intention not to distribute these books.
The state of Nuevo León has chosen to utilize the primary school textbooks, albeit supplemented with additional resources, but has decided against the more “ideological” guides for teachers. Chihuahua’s governor, Maru Campos, has meanwhile encouraged students to donate their previous year’s textbooks for the current academic session.